Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where, instead of bragging about how little sleep we need to get through the day, we instead raved about how recharged we felt after eight solid hours under the covers?
Instead, we face jam-packed schedules, tight deadlines, instant updates and not enough hours in the day. In a recent interview, actress Elizabeth Banks summed up the philosophy of many Americans faced with these struggles. “I do like to work,” she told the Associated Press. “I’m very much a sleep-when-you’re-dead person.”
We hear this expression all the time, and to many it’s just in jest, but at its root is a dangerous and scary thought. "Janis Joplin said that," James Maas, Ph.D., former fellow, professor and chairman of psychology at Cornell University, who coined the term "power nap" in his 1998 book "Power Sleep" tells The Huffington Post. "And she died when she was 27."
Making work or family (or partying!) a priority higher than sleep can up your risk for serious health conditions, like heart disease, impair your immune system, cause inflammation and hurt your memory and mood. Adopters of this "sleep can wait" mentality may not be putting it off as long as they think, however. A 2010 study published in the journal SLEEP found that regularly sleeping less than six hours a night was linked to an early death.
"In my mind, the people who follow that philosophy should have all their paperwork in order," Michael Decker, Ph.D., an associate professor at Georgia State University and spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, tells The Huffington Post. "Short sleep does not mean a person's tough."
Unfortunately, an attitude of pride around short sleep prevails. It will take some time and effort to change this, but in the meantime, Decker and Maas have helped us to decode some of the more prevalent messages about sleep. Click through the common quotes and sayings below, then tell us others you say or hear in the comments.
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